one crappy cellphone picture per band

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A few mildly crappy GIFs of BILDERBUCH at Reeperbahnfestival 2014, Grünspan, Hamburg, 19 September

Clearly, they were the RBF14 highlight (no, it’s not the farthest we’ve ever travelled to see a local band) and it was great fun. Partly because we played the bibu gig drinking game, which, if the band act in your favour, will get you wonderfully drunk in no time. Here are the rules:

  1. Everytime Maurice says, “Wir sind Bilderbuch aus Wien” (or just “Wien” if you want to get drunker), toast to the person next to you and have a drink.
  2. Everytime Maurice says, “Merci beaucoup”, toast to the person next to you and have a drink.
  3. When Mike plays the guitar behind his back, toast to the person next to you, drink and don’t stop until the solo is over.

One crappy cellphone picture per band, Girls, November 14th 2011, Molotow, Hamburg

This was a beautiful concert. Really beautiful.

It had a nice support band, Spectrals, who do warm, happy indie music and were very excited to be here. I don’t get the Shangri-Las, Glasvegas and Jesus & Mary Chain comparisons thrown at them but then again, I never do.

Girls were the really beautiful part, however. I swayed and danced and sang along and I almost cried during Substance as I am wont to do whenever I listen to that song. I don’t quite understand the giant mosh pit that erupted at one point (but whatever, we’re all looking for love) and lasted for way too long. It only fit to the last song that was a gigantic, psychedelic, grunge-y (shut up, that works together) explosion that I didn’t know they had in them.

So you should go see Girls. And here I’m mainly talking to my friends in Vienna because they’re playing on the 21st.

One crappy cellphone picture of FKA TWIGS at Primavera Sound 2014, Barcelona, 30 May 2014

This surely was the sexiest show of the whole festival. Tahliah Barnett in a black bra, black panties and a see-through rain cape, moving her body titillatingly on the stage through the smoke in an incredibly hypnotizing way. And to top all that, she even seemed endearing and grateful between the songs - not even close to the bitchy diva I expected for some reason.

Country: UK

One crappy Instagram picture of GERARD at Palaverama Festival, Gmünd, 1 August 2014 (plus a bonus romantic incident involving a GERARD BAG at U3 Volkstheater, Vienna, 4 August 2014)

I didn’t bring my Gerard bag with me to Palaverama. It was a lovely evening anyway, but the loveliest things happen when I am carrying it. Case in point:

Yesterday, as I was waiting for the U3 at Volkstheater, a guy tapped me on the shoulder and showed me his smartphone with the Blausicht album playing on his Spotify. Then he gesticulated towards my Gerard bag, said “Hi, I couldn’t help but notice…”, and afterwards he asked for my number.

Did I ever write about how it was Gerard and Nvie Motho who first introduced me to the term “bumpfist” and how I initially thought it was called “bampfi”? When I told this guy I wasn’t entirely available at the moment, as his U3 going in the opposite direction came into the station, he said “too bad” - I said “great taste in music though” - and then we fistbumped.

A GIF of NOAH KIN at Waves Vienna 2014, Alte Post, 2 October

Whatever, I said to myself, doing the responsible thing is overrated. Stay a little longer, I thought, you can always take a taxi, and it’s not Noah Kin’s fault his slot is so late on a Thursday night and you’re a lame person with a day job.

15 EUR and an everlasting work day later, that didn’t seem like the best idea I ever had.

One crappy cellphone picture per band, S.C.U.M., Uebel und Gefährlich, Hamburg, November 7th 2011

Don’t name your band S.C.U.M.. I will miss out on it because whenever I hear about them I will go “Ugh, what a gimmicky band name. I bet they’re super sleek and talk about the more obscure theories by philosophers I was supposed to read all the time. I bet one of them likes taxidermy. I bet they’re postpretentious*.” and never listen to them. I will have to wait until they support a band I want to see to find out that they are actually really good and then I will a) hate the band for having that kind of name and b) hate myself for having been too superficial to have looked past that name. Because this is what bands should care about when naming themselves: Whether I will like that name.

So I didn’t know anything about S.C.U.M. when I saw them. I knew that they were a thing and that they’re supposed to be great and saving rock'n'roll and everybody should check them out now and well, not rock'n'roll… They’re not very rock'n'roll-y. Supposedly, they’re saving Mute Records, though. Turns out I enjoy them greatly, though so boo on me, for being so judgy about band names.

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* I don’t know yet what post pretentiousnism is, I just now made it up.

One crappy cellphone picture per band, Bilderbuch, Astra Stube, Hamburg, December 15th 2011

Walzerkoenig Office (Hamburg) was very pleased that she could a) finally see a concert by an Austrian band again, hier im halbhohen Norden and b) finally see Bilderbuch because due to various reasons (ignorance, bad timing, tonsillitis) she had always missed them. So she… this third person crap isn’t working.

The support band, Niila, started out as a whole lotta pretentious teen angst in such a whiny post-Diskurspop way that it made Jochen Distelmeyer look like Billy Idol. They turned around eventually, lost some of the pathos and became quite decent. Bilderbuch arrived at the place halfway through their set and I was delighted to hear an Upper Austrian dialect again. You get homesick for the oddest things.

On stage they lost some of that, to communicate with the locals but we knew better. And here I am at that point of the review again where I run out of things to say because I never know how to express positive experiences. They started with Pflaumenwein) (Which they might always do, I don’t know.) My friend said that Maurice Ernsts nervous movements reminded her of Tom Smith? I had a lot of fun? Everybody around me seemed to enjoy it too?

We talked a bit after the concert and some idiot broke their tour busses window so the evening didn’t end so well for the band. They ARE, however, continuing their tour, so you should go see them and maybe you’ll be able to express yourself better than I did.

One crappy cellphone picture of VIECH 
29 November 2011, B72 Vienna

Die Viechs haben am Dienstag beim Club Nolabel den gelungenen Auftakt zum dreitägigen Betriebsausflug der Grazer Indieszene in das Wiener B72 bestritten. Dass sie überaus freundlich und professionell sind, haben wir bereits geahnt. Dass sie außerdem auch schon wie alte Hasen spielen, hat uns (Majestätsplural jetzt, weil Walzerkönigin Isis wohnt ja in Hamburg und weiß es dementsprechend noch nicht) schon mehr überrascht. Sympathisch außerdem das mit (verschiedenfarbigen) Socken auf der Bühne stehen.

SHURA at Uebel & Gefährlich –
Reeperbahnfestival 2015, Day 4

An interesting thing about live shows is that you get a much more nuanced picture of where an act is coming from. Take Shura: When I first listened to 2Shy and her other recordings, she seemed to me to be coming from an Alternative R&B background, maybe somewhat like Banks, and that feels so weird to me now. With her oversized denim jacket, her band all in black, the guitar solos and the darkness of Uebel & Gefährlich, it was so much more post-punk/whatever than I had expected.

One crappy cellphone picture of AIVERY at Glockenbachwerkstatt Munich, 6 February 2014

One of the main reasons why I’d ever want to play in a band surely is touring - seeing new places and meeting new people every day, crashing on couches and floors and living on fast food and beer. Well, at least that was my image of touring until I was invited to test my roadie-skills on Aivery’s mini-tour to Munich and Wolfsberg, which was more of the no drinking and lots of vegan food kind. Nonetheless it was quite the fun experience, and it’s great to see how the three have grown as a band ever since I first saw them play in a laundry shop. They might still need the routine of playing live, but especially the singer Franziska’s charming appearance on stage is quite delightful and their noise-indie-punk a very refreshing addition to Vienna’s music scene.

One crappy cellphone picture of GIN GA at Waves Vienna 2013, Delegates cruise to Waves Bratislava, 5 October, Admiral Tegetthoff

Nothing against the usual Gin Ga live bassist, or the Starsailor guy that plays on their records, but I really enjoy Gin Ga most when Fijuka’s Judith joins them on stage. I think all of us have a little bit of a girl crush on her.

There was just one thing about the Bratislava trip that annoyed me endlessly. While nearly everyone managed to queue fairly while waiting for the busses back to Vienna, two people jumped the queue like it was their fucking right. Everyone else in a hurry took the train instead, but not the boss of Monkey Music and his partner the FM4 boss.

Way to go you guys! Please retire soon!

One crappy cellphone picture of CLOUD NOTHINGS at Primavera Sound 2014, Barcelona, 1 June 2014

For me, “Here And Nowhere Else” has been the best release of 2014 so far. So picking Cloud Nothings as the grand finale for a grand festival was no coincidence, but in fact was also due to the show the day before at the Vice stage being so crowded that I was already almost standing at the Pitchfork stage next to it - which obviously resulted in hearing crap. It must have been about two times the crowd of an Arena Open Air - just to compare it, the band played in Vienna last year at B72.

Anyhow, the concert at a full and hot and frantic Sala Apolo was fast and loud and intense and a pure adrenaline and endorphin-rush - and looked something like this. Also, it reminded me of how much I hate stage-divers. 

Origin: USA

One crappy cellphone picture of SLEEP PARTY PEOPLE at Spot Festival 2014, Atlas, Aarhus, Denmark, May 3

Entweder du findest die Hasenmasken zu süß und einen blöden Gimmick bei einem langweiligen, unnötig gehypten Projekt, oder du findest, dass die Hasenmasken das i-Tüpfelchen auf einer unglaublich interessanten, shoegaze/falsetto-Performance sind. Ich hab jetzt drei Tage darüber nachgedacht und weiß immer noch nicht, was ich denke. Country: Denmark

One crappy cellphone picture of RIKA at rhiz Wien, 29 April 2015

After one of those seemingly endless days at work, there is only one band for which I manage to get my lazy butt off the couch: Rika. And yes, even after the gazillionth show after their February 2013 release of “How to draw a river, step by step” it’s still worthwhile to drag myself all the way over to rhiz (which is admittedly only 700 meters). Especially when there’s something new to listen to, like with that one song I will call “Open F” for now (which apparently is its guitar tuning and as I missed its real title). It has quite the interesting and vigorous drums and I cannot wait to see what it sounds like on a record. If it ever goes on a record, that is.

One crappy cellphone picture per band, Ja, Panik, Donauinselfest Wien, June 24th 2012

The rumours about one band member having left the band had been running wild and then we saw Thomas, vor der Bühne herumschleichend, two minutes before the concert started. And so we began speculating about the immediate consequences, i.e. Nevermind. If they’d play it, how they’d perform it if they played it, what they’d do about Thomas’ verse, would Andreas Spechtl sing all of the verses, the way it is on the album, would he just take over Thomas’ verse, would they shorten the song?*

It was a very compact set, starting with one big hit (Marathon) but leaving out quite a few others. I just looked at the set list again and they did play a lot of hits but some personal favourites were missing. Oh well. Andreas Spechtl seemed a bit overwhelmed by playing the guitar and singing all the time (some Thomas parts were also compensated with the piano), and at times the concert seemed like a compulsory affair that needed to be done to get some bills paid. There were some highlights, e.g. the unusually playful piano during Pardon that gave the song a much more joyous feel. The Body Count cover seemed like a very odd choice at first but by stretching the chorus to as long as it takes to walk across the whole FM4 area, the songs very simple message got one to five additional layers, making it much more ja, panikesque.

It was one of their weaker concerts but instead of focussing on that and speculating about the short or long term implications this line-up change (that might as well be temporary! Who knows!), I’ll just remember the dozen other, different concerts I’ve attended.

image © L.

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* And you know… WAAAHH! NEVERMIND! WITHOUT THOMAS! WHAT AN ELEGANT SOLUTION! I MEAN, SO SAD! BUT ELEGANT! BUT THE SILENCE DURING HIS LINES! SO TRAGIC! WE JUST REALLY LOVE THIS BAND, YOU GUYS! WE REALLY, REALLY DO!

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SEINABO SEY at Eurosonic 2015, 15 January, Grand Theatre Groningen

I may have been a little drunk on the wine and Aquavit we’d gotten at the Icelandic reception an hour before, but the Seinabo Sey gig was an almost spiritual experience and definitely the best thing day 2 of Eurosonic had to offer, and it was packed with great acts.

It was so goooood and she was so charming. She basically didn’t move except for her left arm but with an aura like that, that was more than enough.